Parkland Survivor Shuts Down Why Being Nice Won't Stop Mass Shootings

The Parkland, Florida, mass shooter's classmate was nice to him even after being mistreated by him. He still shot and killed her friends in the end.

Following the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many people criticized the Parkland students for launching a national school walkout day. They argued that instead, kids should walk up to another student feeling lonely or out of place.

Thanks to the #WalkUpNotOut Feb. 19 Facebook post by a retired Texas junior and high school teacher, David Blair, the movement spread. And many people online urged students to be more proactive in trying to help kids with mental health issues.

But in an op-ed for The New York Times, a Stoneman Douglas student and former classmate of shooter Nikolas Cruz explained just why she believes this argument falls flat.

Isabelle Robinson wrote that as a 12-year-old, Cruz had assaulted her by throwing an apple at her back.

“The force of the blow knocked the wind out of my 90-pound body; tears stung my eyes,” she wrote.

And as she looked back, she saw Cruz, “smirking.”

“His eyes were lit up with a sick, twisted joy as he watched me cry,” she said.

Just one year after this alarming incident, she explained, Robinson was assigned to tutor Cruz as a peer counselor. The young Robinson was then left alone with the teen, who would end up killing 17 of her teachers and classmates.

“Looking back, I am horrified. I now understand that I was left, unassisted, with a student who had a known history of rage and brutality,” she wrote.

Explaining that even after she was assigned to help Cruz, nothing really seemed to get through to him. Therefore, claiming that if his “classmates and peers had been a little nicer to him, the shooting at Stoneman Douglas would never have occurred,” Robinson wrote, is almost as if critics were trying to blame the students for being victims.

“This deeply dangerous sentiment, expressed under the #WalkUpNotOut hashtag, implies that acts of school violence can be prevented if students befriend disturbed and potentially dangerous classmates,” she wrote. “The idea that we are to blame, even implicitly, for the murders of our friends and teachers is a slap in the face to all Stoneman Douglas victims and survivors.”

On Twitter, users sympathized with her account and her arguments.

Many highlighted portions of her op-ed that explained that while there are a lot of students who are reachable, others are just not going to change when treated with kindness.

Some highlighted the absurdity of asking young girls to be nice to boys like Cruz. Like many mass shooters, Cruz had a history of domestic abuse. Is that the kind of people they should be kind to?

One user even made the argument that if bullying were to blame for violent behavior at all times, then we would be seeing a lot more cases of mass shootings.

While it's important to teach our kids to be helpful and kind, it is also important to seek other more efficient solutions to the gun violence epidemic.

As one Twitter user explained, instead of blaming victims for the attack, we must work on not allowing teens with a history of violence or mental problems to have access to weapons.

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters/Stringer 

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